M.A., Criminal Justice Administration
The program leading to the Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration (MCJA) offers a comprehensive examination of the criminal justice system, an exploration of criminal and delinquent behaviors, a foundation in research and statistics, and an opportunity to explore other relevant topics of interest to the student.
It is designed for individuals who have already obtained an undergraduate degree from a state or regionally accredited college or university in criminal justice or a related field. The Criminal Justice Administration program features curriculum and instruction that focuses on broadening and deepening the management and leadership skills of its graduates.
Career Connections for this Degree
Click here to find out what you can do with a Master's Degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
Course Overview - click on each course to show/hide detail
CJA 500: Introduction to the CJA Program
This course prepares students to be successful in graduate school by encouraging critical thinking, familiarizing them with the Moodle learning platform, instructing them how to write literature reviews and position papers using APA citation style.
CJA 501: Criminal Justice Administration and Management
This course will focus on theory and practice specific to criminal justice administration and management. Students will first be introduced to the components of the criminal justice system and discus their interactive nature and the impact this has on management. Theories of criminal justice administration and management will be explored and the student will learn how to apply these theories in their work as criminal justice leaders. Students will also be exposed to research regarding the goals of criminal justice organizations, motivating employees and employee evaluation.
CJA 502: Ethical and Legal Issues for Criminal Justice Managers
This course focuses on salient ethical and legal issues criminal justice managers must address in their leadership efforts. Students will explore the ethical and legal issues existing across the criminal justice system and discuss how these issues influence the behavior of organizations and their workers. Key issues that will be addressed include discriminatory treatment of criminal justice workers and their clientele; the due process treatment of clients; and the creation of policies and procedures to address ethical and legal issues. Students will also explore techniques of responding to allegations of unethical and illegal misconduct by criminal justice actors.
CJA 503: Explaining Criminal Justice Behavior
This course explores leading theories of criminal justice decision-making that explain the behavior of criminal justice actors and their organizations and how this behavior impacts criminal justice clients. Students will discuss the implications of individual and group behavior for creating rules, regulations, and implementing policy. Organizational behavior will be explored both in terms of how it impacts the individuals working within their respective agencies, and how organizational behavior is influenced by internal and external forces.
BSG 504: Organizational Behavior
This course examines the human side of organizations. The role of the manager is examined to gain insight into those skills that facilitate leadership, organizational change and development, and managing human relationships.
CJA 505: Legitimacy of the Criminal Justice System and Public Relations for the Criminal Justice Manager
The course prepares students for the public relations duties that criminal justice managers and leaders frequently perform. Students will examine the legitimacy of the major components of the criminal justice system and how public opinion impacts criminal justice actors and organizations. Students will prepare and present press statements for the types of crises experienced in each component of the criminal justice system.
CJA 506: Explanations of Criminal Behavior
During the first half of the semester, students will explore the individual, structural, macro, and biosocial theories that explain criminal behavior. The second half of the semester will focus on applying these theories to explanations of behavior for those offenders most likely to be encountered during their work as criminal justice leaders including sex offenders, violent offenders, and property offenders. Also included will be discussions about criminal justice policy for managing and processing these offenders through the criminal justice system.
CJA 507: Essentials of Governmental Budgeting, Accounting, and Reporting
This course examines the structure of governmental accounting systems with particular emphasis on fund accounting, budgeting systems, and appropriate reporting (both internally and externally). Special attention is devoted to the Ohio accounting and budgeting requirements, as they pertain to public safety and related areas. This course will also include an introduction to grant writing and students will be expected to write a small grant application over the course of the semester.
CJA 508: Research Methods for Criminal Justice
This course examines various research design models applied to crime, criminal justice and agency administration issues. Students will discuss the philosophy of science, sampling, and various research designs including quasi-experimental, experimental, qualitative, and program evaluation. Students will be expected to design their own research project, desirably to be used to build their project or thesis.
CJA 509: Applied Statistics in Criminal Justice
This course explores and applies practical statistical methods to the relevant work of criminal justice leaders. This course will prepare students to be intelligent consumers of reported research, to apply appropriate statistical analysis to various types of research designs, to report criminal justice agency performance results, and to identify and use various criminal justice statistical data sources in print and electronic form.
CJA 510: Criminal Justice Issues
This course allows students to engage in independent study to explore salient issues in criminal justice that are directly related to their interests. Topics available for study include but are not limited to victimology, crime prevention, effectiveness and efficiency of the criminal justice system. Students may also choose to expand upon any of the other classes by narrowing their focus on specific topics (i.e. structural theories of crime) and may elect to create their own course of study to accommodate their needs. Should more than one student be interested in any given topic students will participate in online discussions.
CJA 511: Thesis
Completion of a thesis research project is one option for a student to complete the requirements of the master’s degree program. This option is highly recommended for those students pursuing a doctoral degree. The student will prepare a proposal in consultation with the thesis advisory committee. This proposal will require that the student either collect and analyze primary data, or complete a secondary analysis of a dataset. Upon acceptance of the proposal, the student must complete the thesis within two calendar years. The thesis will conform to the standards set forth by the American Psychological Association (APA). A thesis committee of two to four faculty members will work with the student in the development and completion of the research. An oral defense of the thesis will be made before a panel consisting of the thesis advisor, thesis committee and one Urban University faculty member outside of the division appointed by the Dean of Faculty. Upon acceptance, the completed thesis will be delivered to the Urbana University librarian for placement in the library collections.
CJA 512: Project
This course is one of two options for completing the requirements of the master’s program. Students will demonstrate the skills and knowledge associated with their professional careers, as well as courses that comprise their entire CA degree to formulate a solution to a specific policy issue or problem of their choosing based on existing practices and research literature. Students will be required to identify specific learning objectives and provide support of mastery of said objectives.
Tuition & Fees
The MCJA program is comprised of 35 credit hours and can be completed in as little as 18 months. Tuition is $514 per credit, and books are available for $46 per credit. Financial aid for both tuition and books is available for those who qualify.
- Graduates of the program will demonstrate an understanding of theoretical concepts and the role they play in developing sustainable criminal justice programs.
- They will become knowledgeable of the structure and management of criminal justice organizations.
- Students will develop fiscal management and research skills that will assist in securing funding to sustain and expand criminal justice programming.
- Graduates will embrace and apply the processes that integrate professionalism, service, accountability and leadership.
To meet these objectives and to develop a broadly educated student, the program offers both thesis and non-thesis options.
- The thesis option is generally recommended for students wishing to pursue further education in professional schools or doctoral level studies.
- The non-thesis option (project) is designed for the students who do not intend to pursue doctoral level studies. It will provide a base of knowledge and skills necessary to administer criminal justice related programs.
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences employs graduate faculty who mirror the characteristics it seeks to instill in its graduate students: scholarship, concern, motivation, and an orientation to service. The graduate faculty represents a broad background of educational and practical expertise. They dedicate themselves to teaching and enjoy working with graduate students individually and in small class situations.
To enter the program students must meet the following requirements:
- Possess an earned baccalaureate degree from a state and regionally accredited college or university.
- Earn an acceptable undergraduate grade point average. "Acceptable" is defined as 2.7 on a 4.0 scale, or its equivalent.
- Submit official copies of all college transcripts to the Registrar.
- List three references with contact information that the college may contact to confirm applicant’s ability to complete a graduate program.
- Demonstrate knowledge in criminal justice from specific coursework and/or can document criminal justice-related training in the areas of criminal justice, sociology, or psychology within the past ten (10) years.
Up to six (6) credits of graduate level coursework may be transferred from an accredited college or university.